LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Community advocates shut down a major Los Angeles thoroughfare Tuesday morning by placing jail beds in the street in a protest against a plan to expand the county’s jails.
About 7:30 a.m., dozens of protesters in orange T-shirts set up jail beds in the 500 block of Temple Street, between Grand Avenue and Hill Street, just outside Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, the headquarters of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
About an hour later, a group of protesters in an unrelated demonstration walked onto the 101 Freeway at Alameda Street, blocking traffic for about 20 minutes. At least eight people were arrested there, California Highway Patrol reported.
Groups such as JusticeLA and Black Lives Matter presented a motion Tuesday to the supervisor to request a moratorium on new jail construction.
The board is expected to move forward with a years-long plan to construct a 3,885-bed downtown Los Angeles jail that would replace the dilapidated Men’s Central Jail, along with a renovation the vacant Mira Loma Detention Center in Lancaster into a 1,600-bed women’s jail. The new downtown jail is expected to cost $1.8 billion.
Los Angeles has the largest county jail system in the nation.